Alaena39 Profile - (13204757)

cook's profile


Home Town: Hialeah, Florida, USA
Living In: Clarksville, Tennessee, USA
Member Since: Mar. 2009
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Baking, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Dessert, Quick & Easy
Hobbies: Scrapbooking, Walking, Reading Books, Music
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Banana Bread
Tres Leche Cake
Mexican Macaroni Salad
German Chocolate Cake Frosting
Popcorn Balls
About this Cook
I was born and raised in South Florida and grew up with Cuban cuisine. I have a wonderful husband who's a soldier and a beautiful baby girl. I love my black beans and rice, tostones and platanos maduros. Those kinds of foods remind me of home and I try my best to keep the torch going by cooking the kinds of foods I grew up with, along with a whole new variety of international dishes and of course American to keep my husband happy! While cooking I constantly try to keep certain things in mind: 1. Be yourself 2. Let your instincts guide you 3. Don't listen to naysayers and 4. Have fun! If there's anything I can prove to other people is that if I can go from burning oatmeal to being considered a good cook in under 2 years, so can you!
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook Cuban, Italian, Mexican and American foods. I always aim for the most authentic recipes possible, but I am not afraid to mix things up a little from time to time or make permanent changes if I think it tastes better a different way.
My favorite family cooking traditions
All kinds of cuban bean dishes from black to red to lentils, the different ways to make plantains delicious, Arroz Imperial (imperial rice) and probably the two best Cuban meals I can make is the authentic Cuban meat and potatoes dish and picadillo, or ground beef hash.
My cooking triumphs
My best cooking triumph was probably nailing a lasagna dish on the first try and by instinct had added a few extra things that made the dish absolutely incredible. It was a great surprise and a huge hit!
My cooking tragedies
A lot of my cooking tragedies stemmed from being a self taught cook. The worst is probably not having known that pies drip and so I had to clean up the entire oven with a scrub brush to take out the burnt sugar. The mess was awful and would make anyone want to cry. The good thing is you learn the most from your biggest tragedies so it's all good :)
Recipe Reviews 71 reviews
Easy Potato Salad with Dill
I had fresh dill that I needed to use up and this seemed like a simple recipe, so I went for it. This was very easy to make, with few ingredients and was exactly what I was looking for… tangy, creamy and delicious. I do not miss the mustard or celery at all. My husband and I both agree that this will become our go to recipe for potato salad. Thank you so much for submitting!

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 27, 2013
Amazing Southwest Cilantro Lime Mango Grilled Chicken Sandwiches
This was delicious. Now, since it was a regular weekday and I did not want to spend so much time in the kitchen, I simply cut the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and sauteed with the marinade/grilled ingredients, eyeballing how much of each and adding the cilantro last so it doesn't wilt. I placed large tortillas in the microwave with a slice of cheese and let that melt. I added the chicken, then the salsa on top and wrapped them up into a burrito. Would the chicken taste better marinated? I'm sure it would. I would happily do that for company but for a regular evening meal I think I will stick with the way I made it.

4 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 23, 2013
Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple, and Red Lentil Soup
I was really excited about the recipe because I wanted something really radical from our everyday meals but this one fell a little flat for us. I tried it non-pureed first as so many people said they left it that way. My husband and I both thought it was lacking flavor. Neither of us finished it. I decided to give it a second chance the next day by heating it up and pureeing it like the recipe stated. This time it tasted much better and I think it is because you get all the flavors in every bite. The problem then became that the texture and visual appeal was not fun. It really did look like baby food and the kind that you feel sorry that your baby has to eat. Don't think I would try this again but thank you for opening my eyes to new possibilities with flavor combinations.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 15, 2013

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